Zathu: Uniting boys and girls for a more equal Malawi

Born out of Malawian culture, Zathu uses the power of music and storytelling to close the gender gap and tackle challenging topics such as relationships, stereotypes, self-expression and sexual health.

Zathu quote FINAL

Something was sleeping within our children, but now it has awakened because of Zathu.

Deputy Headmaster, Ezondweni Secondary School, Malawi
Five must-haves to launch the biggest youth brand in Malawi

Zathu brings boys and girls closer, and allows us to ask questions without being judged.

Theresa, Lilongwe
Zathu band

A groundbreaking approach not just for Malawi, but the region as a whole.

Ambassador Deborah Birx, the United States global AIDS co-ordinator

The sound of a new Malawi

Bringing together the best of local culture and creativity, Zathu is a unique youth brand that uses the power of music and storytelling to tackle challenging topics around growing up - from friendships between girls and boys, finding the confidence to express yourself, harmful stereotypes and sexual reproductive health. Zathu helps girls to be seen, to be heard, and to achieve.

By helping to close the gender divide, Zathu has the potential to deliver something much bigger than the sum of its parts. By improving the perceived value of girls - by girls themselves and those around her - we can have a knock-on impact on far wider health and poverty indicators. For example, by informing girls and giving them confidence, they will better understand why their wellbeing is important, seek help, and be more likely to visit a clinic.

What we make

Brands for social change Zathu Band Header


Blending traditional Malawian influences with modern beats, three singles have been released, with a full album to come.

Radio presenters - Zathu

Radio Show

Two weekly episodes feature music, real-life stories, an agony aunt and a drama about six friends in the Zathu Band.

Zathu events


Zathu brings the radio show to life with live performances, stories, advice, music and drama in schools, youth centres and public spaces. 


2.6 million 

regularly consume Zathu in Malawi

(2017 audience survey)

Read the factsheet


91% of consumers 

agree that Zathu helps them feel more in control of decisions which affect their lives

(2017 audience survey)


96% of consumers 

agree that Zathu has taught them that females should be treated equally to males

(2017 audience survey)

Zathu awards & endorsements

Although still a relatively new brand, Zathu has been recognised for the strides it is already taking in tackling the structural and negative social drivers that reinforce gender inequality in Malawi.

Demand creation award

Winner of ‘Best Breakthrough Creative’ in the Demand Creation Challenge awards 2018

Shorty Social Good awards

Distinction in the ‘Gender Equality’ category of Shorty Social Good awards 2018

Read more
Excellence Awards

Shortlisted for an African Excellence Award in the 'Multi Channel Communication' category

Zathu partnerships



Breaking down negative attitudes and behaviours that prevent girls accessing life-saving vaccines

Learn more about Gavi


Increasing demand for health services by empowering girls

Learn more about PEPFAR DREAMS


Putting empowering content in the hands of girls, globally

Learn more about Facebook

Would you like to work in partnership with Girl Effect in Malawi?

Contact our team

Latest from Zathu